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Sonny Hsiao
CEO, President and Co-Founder
Acepodia Inc.

Dr. Hsiao is the Chief Executive Officer, President and Co-Founder at Acepodia, Inc. He was awarded Dr. Y-T Lee Prize, which named after Nobel Laureate Dr. Lee, for his research achievement in Chemistry. Dr. Hsiao has extensive research experiences in immune cell therapies, which lead to the discovery of ACC™ (Antibody-Cell Conjugation) technology, and to the invention of the novel cellular immunotherapy, ACE™ (Antibody-Cell Conjugation Effectors). Dr. Hsiao is an inventor of several patents and patent applications covering ACC and Natural Killer & T cell therapies. Dr. Hsiao earned his BS in Chemistry from National Taiwan University, and his PhD in Chemistry and Molecular Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.  

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

4:50 pm | Panel Discussion: The Future Potential of NK Cells in Combination Therapies

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

4:00 pm | Antibody-Cell Conjugation to NK Cells Without Genetic Engineering

Stewart Abbot
CSO
Adicet Bio

Stewart Abbot is the chief scientific officer at Adicet Bio. He holds a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences (Edinburgh), M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering (Glasgow) and Ph.D. in Pathology (London). His academic career focused on basic and translational science initiatives in vascular biology, pharmacology and toxicology. He joined Amersham Biosciences in 2000 and developed Amersham’s and, following acquisition, General Electric’s stem cell-based drug screening capabilities. He was head of the Molecular and Cellular Biology research laboratory at GE’s Global Research Center from 2004-2007. In 2007 he joined Celgene to develop novel cell-based therapeutic candidates and subsequently development of external cellular therapy R&D collaborations and alliances. In 2015 he joined Fate Therapeutics and held roles of VP translational research and chief development officer. He joined Adicet Bio. in June 2018 and his current role oversees all research associated with genetically engineered gamma delta T cell-based therapy development.  

Workshop B

March 19, 2019

9:00 am |

Unique Advantages of γδT Cells for Adoptive Immunotherapy

Martin Treder
CSO
Affimed

Dr. Martin Treder joined Affimed’s Management Team in 2015 as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Treder has more than 16 years of professional experience in the field of biotherapeutics research and development and a broad experience in immuno-oncology discovery and pre-clinical development of antibodies. Before joining Affimed, he co-founded CT Atlantic AG, a Swiss biotechnology company focused on the identification and development of human-derived monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer. As Chief Scientific Officer he was responsible for establishing a broad research pipeline of various preclinical and clinical development programs. Prior to CT Atlantic Dr. Treder co-founded U3 Pharma AG, a German biotech company developing targeted cancer therapeutics, and held the position of Program Director where he was responsible for heading the company’s portfolio of innovative anti-HER3 therapeutic antibodies. Dr. Treder graduated with Honors from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and obtained a diploma in Biology at the University of Würzburg, Germany. He earned his PhD working in Prof. Axel Ullrich's group at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried-Munich, Germany.  

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

4:50 pm | Panel Discussion: The Future Potential of NK Cells in Combination Therapies

12:00 pm | Therapeutic Strategies Based on Innate Immunity and Affimed’s ROCK® platform

Robin Parihar
Assistant Professor of Pediatric Hematology- Oncology
Baylor College of Medicine

I am a pediatric oncologist with an interest in caring for children with solid tumors. I have an active research lab interested in stimulating the immune system to fight solid tumors. My lab investigates the role of a specific type of immune cell called the natural killer (NK) cell in the control of cancer. My current research projects aim to enhance NK cell function in order to target the tumor microenvironment, essentially getting rid of the accessory cells that help a tumor resist standard therapies. I am currently working on introducing the enhanced NK cells as therapy for children with advanced cancers. In addition, we are using our established lab models to better understand how the tumor microenvironment suppresses the immune system, in order to develop new approaches to overcome this inhibition and improve immune-based therapies for pediatric cancers.

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

10:00 am | NK Cells and the Solid Tumor Microenvironment: Lessons Learned and Translational Potential

Noah Merin
Assistant Professor
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

  • Medical School: University of California, Davis School of Medicine, 2008
  • Residency: Harbor-UCLA, 2012
  • Fellowship: University of Southern California, 2015
  • Clinical Instructor: University of Southern California, 2016
  • Assistant Professor, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center 2016 -
 

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

2:00 pm | Pre-Emptive Donor-Derived Natural Killer Infusion for Patients with High-Risk Multiple Myeloma, Lymphoma, or CLL

Robert Igarashi
CSO
Cyto-Sen Therapeutics

Robert Igarashi, Ph.D. is the president and co-founder of CytoSen Therapeutics. Dr. Igarashi has a diverse background in life sciences and has played an instrumental role in the development of the particle based natural killer (NK) cell stimulating technology. He has brought his biochemical and physico-chemical expertise to combine with immunology for developing and refining the nanoparticle based method for NK cell stimulation that could be used for ex vivo expansion as well as in vivo stimulation of therapeutic NK cells.He has been crucial in understanding the biochemical aspects of the plasma membrane particles interacting with NK cells and how they can be further innovated to add novel therapeutic dimensions for adoptive NK cell therapy.

Workshop D

March 19, 2019

1:00 pm |

Logic and Rationale Behind the High Doses of High Potency NK Cells and their Therapeutic Application

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

2:30 pm | NK Cell Stimulation Using Membrane Bound IL-21

Emily Mace
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Columbia University

Emily Mace studies human natural killer cell development, particularly with quantitative image analysis and cell biological approaches. This includes the use of highly spatially and temporally resolved and super-resolution microscopy to understand interactions between NK cell precursors and the microenvironment. She also identifies novel requirements for human NK cell development through the identification and study of rare patients with NK cell deficiencies. This has included the characterization of NK cell functional and cell biological phenotypes associated with GATA2, IRF8 and Coronin 1A deficiencies. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, where she serves as the junior faculty representative to the American Association of Medical Colleges. She has published more than 60 papers and is an American Society for Hematology Scholar, as well as an Associate Member of the American Society for Cell Biology’s Women in Cell Biology Committee and a member of the Biophysical Society’s Committee for the Promotion of Women. Her work is funded by the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Workshop C

March 19, 2019

1:00 pm |

Addressing Contact Dependent Factors that Promote NK Cell Development

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

3:00 pm | Addressing Contact-Dependent Factors that Promote NK Cell Development

Rizwan Romee
Director of Haploidentical Donor Transplant Program
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

My long-term goals as a translational researcher are to translate novel aspects of immunology to improve treatments for patients with hematologic malignancies. I have extensive experience in concepts and techniques in the field of immunobiology, and specifically NK cell biology. We recently described human cytokine induced memory-like (CIML) NK cells induced by brief activation with cytokines (IL-12, IL-15 and IL-18). These memory-like NK cells have enhanced anti-tumor responses (direct cell cytotoxicity and antibody dependent cell cytotoxicity), proliferate and persist longer after adoptive transfer in animal models, making them attractive for cellular immunotherapy for advanced cancer patients. I led the first-in-human clinical trial of memory-like NK cells in patients with advanced AML and MDS. We demonstrated that the adoptive transfer of memory-like NK cells in these patients was safe and encouragingly was associated with very promising responses (>50% CR / CRi in relapsed / refractory AML patients). Currently I am leading efforts at Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Harvard Medical School, to expand the use of memory-like NK cell based studies in patients with advanced hematologic malignancies and also to test them in combination with other novel agents to potentially further enhance their anti-tumor activity. Furthermore, we are working to use HLA haploidentical donor transplantation as a platform for NK cell immunotherapy for patients with high risk myeloid malignancies.

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

11:30 am | NK Cell Memory to Target Advanced Malignancies

Ryan Bjordahl
Associate Director of Cancer Immunotherapy
Fate Therapeutics

Ryan Bjordahl is an Associate Director of Cancer Immunotherapy at Fate Therapeutics, overseeing preclinical development of the company’s “off-the-shelf” natural killer cell immunotherapies. Prior to joining Fate in 2015, Dr. Bjordahl held research and product development positions at Bio-Techne where he developed monoclonal antibodies and methods for the isolation and identification of recombinant antibodies, with a focus on immunology and flow cytometry applications. Dr. Bjordahl’s previous academic research has focused on identifying novel cellular and cytokine regulatory pathways in immune-oncology, where he identified key immunoregulatory roles for NKT cells and the TNF-receptor superfamily HVEM.  Dr. Bjordahl received his B.S degree from Drake University, PhD in Immunology from the University of Colorado, and his postdoctoral training from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego.

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

2:40 pm | Translation of Pluripotent Cell-Derived Engineered NK Cells as a Cornerstone Approach for Off-The-Shelf Cancer Immunotherapy

Alaina Schlinker
Senior Manager, Cell Therapy Application Support
Fresenius Kabi

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

3:40 pm | Selection Prep, Culture, Harvest and Wash with LOVO and GRex

Vanda Lopes
Senior R&D Scientist
FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific

Vanda S. Lopes received her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Imperial College, University of London, UK, where she studied the mechanisms involved in genetic retinal degenerations. After graduation she investigated possible treatment options, including gene therapy and stem cell derived retinal cell transplantation. At Irvine Scientific, Vanda currently develops serum-free, xeno-free and chemically-defined media alternatives for cellular therapy applications.

Kazuyuki Kuramori
President & CEO
GAIA BioMedicine Inc.

After started career as a government officer of the Ministry of Finance, served in management consulting, financial advisory and private equity investment through different multinational companies. Later, joined a publicly traded Japanese company as the youngest member of board of director, In charge of M&A, corporate planning and business development, and spent 6 years. Participated in GAIA BioMedicine as an advisor and has been appointed President and CEO from April 2016.

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

11:30 am | GAIA-102 as the NK Cell-Based ‘Upward Compatible’ Modality Over CAR-T Cell Therapy

Amir Horowitz
Assistant Professor of Oncological Sciences
Ichan School of Medicine

Amir Horowitz, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Oncological Sciences and a member of the Precision Immunology Institute and the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.   Central to his studies is how immunogenetic variation of HLA, KIR and CD94:NKG2A genes governs the education of human NK cells and regulates their ability to function within dynamic environments. A central goal of his lab’s research is to investigate the effects of genetic variation on the effector and immunoregulatory roles of NK cells in patients with cancer receiving immunotherapies. Throughout my training, he has developed expertise in immunology of infectious diseases and cancer, evolutionary and population immunogenetics, structural biology, and epidemiology. He has cultivated long-standing collaborations with leading scientists in the field of NK cell immunology and HLA genetics and currently have studies focused across settings of hematologic and solid tumor malignancies. His work has contributed to developing an understanding of adaptive NK cells and their roles in microbial infections and following vaccination and hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). He was the first person to demonstrate adaptive roles for human NK cells in vaccine settings as a strategy to potentiate T cell memory. He also pioneered the first studies of human NK cells by mass cytometry (CyTOF) and demonstrated an enormous breadth of phenotypic diversity and functions associated with specific HLA class I and KIR backgrounds. This research has led to the identification and characterization of numerous NK cell subset populations with unique activity and antiviral (and anti-tumor) potential. His laboratory uses tools such as CyTOF, tissue imaging mass cytometry, single-cell RNA sequencing, Olink proteomics, next generation sequencing and computational analytics. They study how HLA class I mediated education and inhibition of NK cells and tumor-derived mutations affecting HLA class I expression and antigen presentation determines sensitivity of NK cells and CD8 T cells to tumor cells, immunosuppressive elements produced within the tumor microenvironment and the capacity to potentiate anti-tumor CD8 T cell activity in response to immune checkpoint blockade therapy.  

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

12:00 pm | Panel Discussion: Identifying Strategies to Improve Efficacy in Solid Tumor Trials

11:00 am | Harnessing NK Cells to Improve T-Cell Targeted Immunotherapies for Solid Tumor and Hematologic Malignancies

Villian Naeem
Applications Scientist
CTL

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

1:00 pm | High-Throughput Visualization of Cell-Mediated Cytolysis: the Target-Cell Visualization Assay (TVA) for Assessment of NK Activity

Will Singleterry
Director, Business Development
IsoPlexis

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

10:00 am | The Functional Capacity of immune Cells as Measured by Single Cell Proteomics Predicts Clinical Outcome Across IO Therapies

Mark Lowdell
CSO
ImmuneBio Inc

Professor Mark Lowdell PhD FRCPath FRSB is the Chief Scientific Officer of InmuneBio Inc., a biopharma company specialising in harnessing the therapeutic potential of the innate immune system.  He is also Professor of Cell & Tissue Therapy at University College London and Director of the Centre for Cell, Gene & Tissue at Royal Free Hospital London. He is the current Vice President (Europe & Middle East) of the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy and has over 20 years’ experience in adoptive immunotherapy of cancer; focussing on the role of natural killer (NK) cells in clearance of residual disease and initiation of acquired immunity.

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

12:00 pm | Panel Discussion: Identifying Strategies to Improve Efficacy in Solid Tumor Trials

Lawrence Lamb
Chief Scientific Officer
Incysus Therapeutics Inc.

Dr. Lamb was first to describe the association between relapse-free survival and gdT cell recovery in bone marrow transplant patients. For 26 years, most recently as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Cell Therapy Laboratory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Lamb developed the scientific support for gdT cell-based immunotherapies. Today, this work has brought us to the first clinical trials for allogeneic gdT cell therapy in leukemia patients undergoing haploidentical stem cell transplants and the first gene-modified gdT cell therapy for glioblastoma. Dr. Lamb currently directs clinical and translational research strategy and operations for Incysus Therapeutics.  

Workshop B

March 19, 2019

9:00 am |

Unique Advantages of γδT Cells for Adoptive Immunotherapy

Evren Alici
Assistant Professor of Hematology
Karolinska Institutet

Prof. Evren Alici is a distinguished researcher both at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden and at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA. His research focus is in the field of multiple myeloma and sarcoma. He has published many research and review articles about multiple myeloma and the use of NK cells against the cancer. He is principal investigator in many ongoing clinical phase I and II trials where autologous NK cells are used to combat the disease. Furthermore, he is an expert in retro- and lentiviral production for clinical use. Prof. Alici has had five doctoral students and has been mentor for 6 postdoctoral fellows, three of which have successfully moved on to senior positions. He has received several fellowships and awards, has accepted several commissions of trust as advisor for companies that focus on cell therapies and he is the inventor of four granted patents.

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

4:20 pm | Utilizing Ex Vivo Expanded Natural Killer Cells for Both Allogeneic and Autologous Uses

Lotte Wieten
Department Head of Transplantation Immunology
Maastricht University

I am an immunologist with a specific interest in Transplantation- and tumor immunology and a strong background in HLA/KIR immunogenetics. I am currently leading the diagnostic- and research lab for Transplantation Immunology where we develop and exploit innovative diagnostics for stem cell- and solid organ transplantation. In one of our research themes, we investigate how Natural Killer cells are influenced by the tumor microenvironment and we develop combinational strategies to enhance clinical efficacy in haematological and solid tumors. In addition, we perform studies to better understand the functional relevance of classical and non-classical HLA molecules for alloreactive NK cells which contributes to improved selection of NK cell donors. Ultimately, we aim to develop NK cell based immunotherapy with a high clinical efficacy and, preferably, with low toxicity.

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

9:00 am | Refinement of NK Cell Immunotherapy: Strategies to Unleash the Killer in a Suppressive Tumor Microenvironment

Patrick Soon-Shiong
Founder & CEO
NantKwest

Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., a physician, surgeon, scientist, inventor, technologist and philanthropist, has devoted his career to understanding the fundamental biology driving life threatening diseases and translating these insights into medical innovations with global impact. Dr. Soon-Shiong has published more than 100 scientific papers and has been granted more than 230 patents worldwide for groundbreaking advancements across technology and medicine. He currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NantWorks, LLC. A holding company devoted to the transformation of healthcare and utilizing artificial intelligence to win the war against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease – two of the most serious diseases affecting the aging population. As a surgeon, Dr. Soon-Shiong performed the world’s first encapsulated human islet transplant, the first engineered islet cell transplant and the first pig-to-man islet cell transplant in patients with diabetes. Dr. Soon-Shiong has also pioneered novel therapies for both diabetes and cancer, including the revolutionary drug Abraxane, which has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, lung cancer and advanced pancreatic cancer in the U.S. and E.U. From 1996 to 2010, Dr. Soon-Shiong served as Founder, Chairman and CEO of two global pharmaceutical companies, American Pharmaceutical Partners and Abraxis BioScience. Following the sale of these companies, Dr. Soon-Shiong established NantWorks, LLC, an ecosystem of companies with deep understandings across complex industries, from science to data, communication and mobility. Dr. Soon-Shiong is also Chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation and of the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine, a nonprofit medical research organization. In April 2018, Dr. Soon-Shiong purchased the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times en Espanol (previously Hoy Los Angeles) and publications under the California News Group. Dr. Soon-Shiong previously owned 26 percent share of the Los Angeles Times. Born and raised during apartheid in South Africa, Dr. Soon-Shiong resides in Los Angeles and is a citizen of the United States.

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

8:30 am | The Innate Killing Ability of Natural Killer Cells

Dean Lee
Professor of Pediatrics
Nationwide Children's Hospital

Dr. Lee is Professor of Pediatrics and DiMarco Family Endowed Chair in Cell Based Therapy. He is the founding Director of the Cellular Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy Program, a joint program between Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital. Dr. Lee’s clinical and translational research centers around the development of NK cell therapy for cancer, enabled by observations which identified a crucial role for IL-21 and STAT3 signaling in NK cell function and proliferation. This in turn led to a field-leading approach for generating NK cells as a cancer therapeutic. NK cells expanded with this approach have been infused into adult and pediatric patients with leukemia, brain tumors, and solid tumors in investigator-initiated Phase I trials under Investigational New Drug approval by the FDA. Dr. Lee is chair of the Cellular Therapy Strategy Group for the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium, member of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, and member of the Cell Therapy Steering Committee for the Children’s Oncology Group. His work in immunotherapy and cellular therapy has led to numerous government and foundation research grants, patents, and commercial licenses. Dr. Lee practices clinically in the area of bone marrow transplantation, with a particular interest in haplotransplantation and graft engineering for myeloid malignancies.

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

4:30 pm | Discussing the Impact of Different Factors on Successful NK Cell Cryopreservation

Paul Song
CMO & COO
NKMax America

Paul Y. Song, MD is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NKMax America, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Korea based ATGen Global of which Dr. Song has served as CMO since 2014.   Dr. Song was most recently was on the faculty at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in the Department of Radiation Oncology and currently volunteers part-time at Dignity California Hospital seeing primarily uninsured patients.   Dr. Song has also served as the very first CMO of Berg Health where he successfully led the launch of their phase I trial and as CMO of Cynvenio Biosystems. He was a visiting fellow on healthcare policy in the California Department of Insurance in 2013.   Dr. Song graduated with honors from the University of Chicago and received his M.D. degree from George Washington University. He completed his residency in radiation oncology at the University of Chicago and did a brachytherapy fellowship at the Institute Gustav Roussy in Villejuif, France. He was awarded an ASTRO research fellowship in 1995, by the American Society of Radiation Oncology, for his research and development of a novel radiation-inducible gene therapy.

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

9:30 am | The Clinical Significance of NK Cell Dysfunction and the Use of Non- Genetically Modified Expanded Autologous Natural Killer Cells with Enhanced Cytotoxicity in the Treatment of Human Disease

James Trager
Senior Vice President of Research and Development
Nkarta Therapeutics

James Trager joined Nkarta Therapeutics, as Senior Vice President of R&D in 2016 and leads all discovery and development efforts. Nkarta is a South San Francisco based startup focused on the use of Natural Killer cells in the treatment of cancer. James is deeply versed in the development and application of cellular therapies for cancer, with broad exposure from discovery to development, quality control, manufacturing, clinical application and regulatory issues surrounding these complex therapies. He previously served as Vice President of Research and Development at Dendreon, where he was responsible for product development, clinical immunology, and analytical development, supporting the late stage development of sipuleucel-T through clinical study, approval, and commercialization. Prior to Dendreon, James was a Senior Scientist at Geron; he was part of the team that cloned human telomerase, and later established a Quality Control function for the manufacture and clinical development of a telomerase inhibitor. James is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe New Mexico; and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic. He received his doctorate in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, where he performed mechanistic studies on the src oncogene.

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

9:00 am | Engineering Models for Potency and Persistence

Stacey Cranert
Research Scientist
Poseida Therapeutics

Dr. Stacey Cranert is currently a scientist in Immuno-Oncology at Poseida Therapeutics and specializes in NK cell therapies. She received her Ph.D in Cancer and Cell Biology from the University of Cincinnati. She completed post-doctoral training in immunology in the lab of Dr. Stephen Waggoner at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where she received a grant from CancerFree Kids as well as the Arnold W. Strauss post-doctoral fellowship. She was also a Public Policy Fellow for the American Association for Immunologists in 2016. Her work focused on improving NK cell-based cell therapies via several mechanisms including by modification of SLAM receptor signaling for targeting various hematological cancers as well as improving NK cell trafficking for solid tumors by modulation chemokine signaling.  

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

4:50 pm | Panel Discussion: The Future Potential of NK Cells in Combination Therapies

Karl-Johan Malmberg
Hematologist & Professor of Immunology
University of Oslo

Karl-Johan Malmberg is a Hematologist and Professor of Immunology at the University of Oslo, Norway and a Visiting Professor in Cell-Based Cancer Immunotherapy at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. The Malmberg lab focuses on 1) basic questions concerning NK cell repertoire formation and regulation of effector cell function and 2) translational questions of how NK cells may be function-enabled for anti-cancer activity. The long-term goal of the laboratory is to advance our fundamental understanding of NK cell development and function, and use this progress to design new immunotherapeutic approaches and clinical trials for patients with cancer.

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

12:30 pm | NK Cell Homeostasis and Plasticity Studied at the Single Cell Level

Dan Kaufman
Professor of Medicine
University of California - San Diego

Dr. Kaufman is a Professor in Department of Medicine, Division of Regenerative Medicine and Director of the Cell Therapy program at the University of California- San Diego. His research focuses on use of human pluripotent stem cells to study development of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and lymphocytes. In particular, his studies have developed efficient means to produce natural killer cells from human ES cells and iPSCs suitable for new clinical applications to treat relapsed/refractory cancers- both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Current studies aim to translate use of these cells into clinical therapies and to engineer these NK cells with novel receptors to improve killing of cancer cells. Dr. Kaufman also does clinical work in hematology/BMT and directs the Advanced Cell Therapy Laboratory, a GMP cell production facility at UCSD.

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

3:10 pm | Engineered Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Natural Killer Cells with Improved Anti-Tumor Activity

Alicja Copik
Research Assistant Professor
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Alicja Copik is a biochemist specializing in innate immunity with emphasis on NK cell biology in the context of immunotherapy for treatment of cancer. Her laboratory has developed a clinically relevant protocol for NK cell expansion that is simple, safe, economical and effective, which can be applied in vitro or in vivo. This novel method is based on the use of PM21-particles derived from plasma membranes of cells engineered to stimulate NK cell expansion. This technology has recently been licensed by CytoSen Therapeutics and is now entering clinical development for treatment of leukemia. Dr. Copik has diverse expertise from chemical engineering, medicinal organic chemistry, enzymology, biomolecular interactions, molecular and cell biology  and she worked in academia, hospital and industrial settings.

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

2:10 pm | Using PM21-NK cells as an Anti-Cancer Therapeutic

Anahid Jewett
Professor & Director of Tumor Immunology Laboratory
UCLA School of Dentistry and Medicine

Dr. Jewett is Professor and Director of tumor immunology laboratory in the Division of Oral Biology and Medicine, and Weintraub Center for reconstructive biotechnology at the UCLA School of Medicine and Dentistry. She has membership in Johnsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and is a member of UCLA Tumor Immunology subgroup. She is well-known nationally and internationally for her contribution to the field of NK biology, tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy. She has received a large number of honors and awards and holds memberships in many professional organizations and societies. She has chaired a number of important senate and non-senate committees at UCLA and University of California Regents, and has been instrumental in shaping the graduate studies for the health professionals at UCLA. She chairs and teaches several graduate level courses, and her laboratory is sought out by many foreign and domestic scholars who spend several years to receive training in NK studies. She serves on the editorial board of many prestigious journals, and has been a reviewer on the board of National Institute of Health study sections. She holds several patents, and has given more than 200 invited lectures and presentations nationally and internationally and has published more than 100 high impact journal articles, reviews, commentaries and book chapters in the field of cancer. She has research collaborations with investigators from China, Slovenia, Mexico, Poland, Germany, Thailand, Japan, Portugal, South Korea and Sweden. She has organized a number of conferences on cancer immunity nationally and internationally. She has trained more than 150 graduate students and health professionals in her laboratory, many of whom are leaders in their respective institutions. She has served on review panels for grants from many countries including England, France, the Netherlands, Qatar, Poland and Israel to name a few. She has received several NIH grant funding as well as from other sources for her studies. One of Dr. Jewett’s major contributions to science and NK cell biology was the identification, characterization and the establishment of the concept of split anergy in NK cells. Equally important was Dr. Jewett’s discovery demonstrating that NK cells were important for the elimination, selection and differentiation of cancer stem cells as well as healthy stem cells. Most recently she has identified, characterized, and patented a novel technology to expand large numbers of super-charged NK cells which are in use in clinical trials of cancer patients. In addition, she has developed a formulation with probiotic bacteria to prevent and treat cancer patients in combination with super-charged NK cells.

Workshop A

March 19, 2019

9:00 am |

Examining the Tumor Microenvironment

Day One

Wednesday 20th March 2019

5:50 pm |
Chair’s Closing Remarks

8:15 am | Chair’s Opening Remarks

Day Two

Thursday 21st March 2019

5:00 pm |
Chair’s Closing Remarks

12:00 pm | Panel Discussion: Identifying Strategies to Improve Efficacy in Solid Tumor Trials

9:30 am | Distinguishing Undifferentiated Tumors from Differentiated Tumors

8:45 am |
Chair’s Opening Remarks